Tempted by baked goodies at work and all those holiday dishes at parties and at home, its no wonder most folks gain weight and body fat during the holidays. Add in all the stresses of shopping, the kids home from school, the family gatherings, and you’re probably asking yourself- what’s wrong with just a little overindulgence?
Nothing. Surprised? Well, everyone deserves to celebrate the season. Just don’t make it a habit. And keep in mind these five tips that will help you navigate through all the treats and tinsel over the next couple of weeks.
1) Don’t panic. You’re going to overindulge. Don’t worry about what you did yesterday- make better food choices today. Think about lean protein and about cooking meals that you can stretch out over hectic days. Like, making extra chicken breasts that you can have tonight and then turn into chicken tacos tomorrow. One reason folks overeat during the holidays is that they have less time to cook. Don’t rely on fast food, it’s a sure fire way to gain weight no matter the season.
2) Eat breakfast. It fuels you up and keeps you going for hours. And, if you’re full, you’re not snacking or eating something you shouldn’t. Eat protein, like eggs or lean turkey. Throw in some Greek yogurt, which has more protein and vitamin D. Also- get some good complex carbs, like oatmeal. Complex carbs will stick with you longer. Oh- and remember to eat breakfast within a half hour of getting up. Think about it- you haven’t eaten since the night before. Your body needs fuel.
3. Snack smart. It’s 3 pm. Stay. Away. From. The. Vending. Machine. And, stay away from that plate of cookies your co-worker brought in. Be prepared with your own snacks from home, and make it a snack with some fat content, like seeds or nuts. It’s healthy fat that will help keep your blood sugar levels stable so you’re not starving at dinner and you don’t feel deprived.
4. Rethink your calories. Most folks eat the biggest meal of the day at dinner. Think about that. After dinner, you probably sit down, watch TV and then go to bed. Those calories aren’t going anywhere. But, if you change it up by eating more calories at breakfast and lunch, and fewer calories at dinner, you’ll feel fuller throughout the day, and have more opportunity to burn off more calories during the daylight hours.
5. Get or stay active. Try as much as possible to stick to your normal workout routine. You’ll feel better and it will help relive stress. On the days you can’t- take the stairs at work. Park farther away from the store when you’re out shopping. When the family’s in town, sign everyone up for a local 5k race. Most races allow you to run or walk, or do a combination of the two, so anyone can participate. Or, just grab everyone and go walk around the neighborhood. The secret is to just get up and move.
Hope you and yours have a Happy Holiday!